Duelling planes carry pro, anti-Wenger banners

A plane flies over the Hawthorns stadium trailing an anti- Arsene Wenger banner during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on March 18, 2017. PHOTO: Lindsey PARNABY / AFP

Rival groups of Arsenal fans paid for planes trailing both critical and supportive Arsene Wenger banners to fly over The Hawthorns during Saturday’s game against West Bromwich Albion.

A banner that read “NO CONTRACT #WENGER OUT” was seen flying above the stadium shortly before the Premier League game kicked off.

But in the 16th minute, with the score 1-1, another plane was spotted overhead with a banner that read: “IN ARSENE WE TRUST #RESPECTAW”.

Wenger, Arsenal’s manager since 1996, has come under pressure from fans after Arsenal were humiliated 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in the Champions League and dropped out of the Premier League top four.

The 67-year-old Frenchman is believed to have been offered a new two-year contract by the club.

He refused to be drawn on his future prior to Saturday’s game.

“I have nothing to say about that anymore,” Wenger told reporters at Thursday’s pre-match press conference.

“Every press conference is about that and we have talked enough about that. I’ve talked enough about that.”

Arsenal’s support is split over Wenger, who won seven trophies in his first nine seasons as manager but has won only two FA Cups in the 12 years since.

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